Provincial leaders are continuing to try to keep hydro costs as low as possible for Ontario residents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with new energy assistance programs, despite an estimated 2 per cent bill increase for the average customer.

“As we recover from COVID-19, our government remains focused on supporting Ontarians by keeping the cost of electricity affordable,” said the Minister responsible for Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Indigenous Affairs, as well as the Kenora-Rainy River region’s MPP, Greg Rickford.

Customers eligible for the new Ontario Electricity Rebate will automatically see a 33.2 per cent reduction of their energy bills, when new rates for customers on the Regulated Price Plan come into effect on November 1.

However, the Ontario Energy Board says the total bill for an average residential household that uses 700 kWh per month will increase be about $2.24, or just under 2 per cent, after accounting for the bill relief provided by the Ontario Electricity Rebate.

Also on November 1, customers paying Time-of-Use rates under the RPP will also have the option to switch to tiered rate pricing, which provides customers with a set rate for electricity, up to a certain level of consumption.

"We are proud to offer the people of Ontario more options and the flexibility to choose between TOU and tiered pricing,” added Rickford.

In March, Ontario and Rickford introduced the COVID-19 Recovery hydro rate, a new fixed price that’s in place 24/7 until October 31, when the program is set to end. The rate of 12.8¢/kWh is based on the average cost of electricity.

Rickford says Ontario has provided over $175 million in hydro rate relief throughout the pandemic, through the off-peak and fixed rates.

For more information:
Rickford offers choice on hydro rates